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McAfee has been in the Computer Security business for more than 3 decades. McAfee had its name famous as the best free antivirus available in the market. However, in the past two years, McAfee has turned its image around. McAfee Antivirus has undergone thorough redesign and restructuring. As a result, McAfee Antivirus is now known to be a reputed member in the pack of the popular antiviruses. But is it the best antivirus software available in 2021?
|In Short, Though, McAfee Antivirus is among the popular antivirus software available in the market, it is not the best antivirus software in market. With tons of features, it has a bunch of shortcomings too.
McAfee is popular with second to none malware protection, reasonable pricing (Family Plan), and lots of bundled tools. However, if you are looking for a single license, you may find it a bit expensive. Also, the McAfee VPN is not at par with VPNs available with other Antiviruses.
The effect on system performance is relative to industry average and is better than its competitors like Bitdefender and Norton (At par with Kaspersky).
Also, McAfee Total Protection comes bundled with the greatest number of tools available with any Antivirus. I, when testing the McAfee Antivirus, liked the interface, protection, and the tools it had to offer but felt unsafe from Cyber-threats.
Download: McAfee Total Protection
What does McAfee Total Protection Include? (Tools)
- Antivirus: Protecting the system from Malware and other viruses is the primary function of the Antivirus software. Therefore, McAfee includes Malware Protection. (We will discuss it later in detail)
- Secure VPN: VPNs are responsible for the online Identity and data protection. All the versions of McAfee Antivirus contain VPN functionality. Because of various kinds of cyber-threats posed to our online data and identity every day, VPNs have become very crucial and have gained a lot more popularity. VPNs are now the part of nearly all popular antivirus suites in the market including Bitdefender.
- Performance Optimization: It helps tweak the performance of your device by blocking various unnecessary functions such as auto-play videos, etc.
- Multi-Device Compatibility: McAfee Total Protection software is compatible with all different operating systems; Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android. This is absolutely necessary when we are talking about ‘Total protection’.
- Password Manager: McAfee Total Protection comes with a Password manager to store all your passwords in encrypted form and take them with you wherever you go. Password Managers are very crucial in this day and time when people have multiple accounts and they use generic passwords in order to remember them. This makes them an easy target for hackers.
- Safe Web Browsing: Safe Web Browsing includes the tools to protect the users from all kinds of online scams like phishing. This feature isn’t something exclusive to McAfee. All other antiviruses too contain this software.
- McAfee Shredder: McAfee Shredder is the tool from McAfee to securely delete any sensitive data from your system and its traces to make it unrecoverable. This feature is particularly helpful if you constantly hold sensitive information on your device. Not many other antiviruses have this kind of functionality.
- Encrypted Storage: McAfee Total Protection features an encrypted storage to protect your data from unwanted prying eyes. It locks the drive of your choice with a password so only you would be able to access the drive and its files. Though this feature isn’t exclusive to McAfee as most admirable antiviruses too contain this software, it is a useful addition.
- Identity Theft Protection: McAfee Total Protection comes with tools to protect your online identity (If there is any threat left after McAfee VPN). This is a basic feature offered by most antiviruses and they all work fine.
All the above-mentioned features come bundled with McAfee Total Protection. Although, the list of features feels satisfying, not all of them work as they are expected to. We will see those flaws and blunders in detail.
Pricing of McAfee Total Protection:
McAfee Total Protection has 4 different pricing options ranging from single users to couples, whole families, and even for unlimited devices.
Though the users can choose the plan they find the best, Family plan offers the best value for money with a subscription ability for 10 devices. One must note that with the Family plan, the VPN license is only available for 5 devices. McAfee Free Trial is also available for 30 Days. McAfee Free Trial can be accessed by downloading the antivirus from the website.
McAfee Total Protection Pricing Compared with Competitors:
Bitdefender Total Security comes at $44.99 for 5 Devices and $99.99 for 10 devices. Although the difference between the McAfee Antivirus and Bitdefender Antivirus isn’t much for 5-device plan, there is a whopping difference between the prices of 10-device plan.
Kaspersky Total Security is also a worthy competitor in the race of the best antivirus suites. The 5-devices plan though is the most expensive among all the three antiviruses, 10-devices plan is cheaper than Bitdefender but still more expensive than Bitdefender.
Based on the data given above, McAfee Total Protection seems to have the most affordable plan of all and is a clear winner. Along with McAfee free trial, it also offers a 30 Days money back guarantee.
Also Read: Bitdefender Mobile Security Full Review
Malware Protection is the primary task of every Antivirus software. Malware protection offered by McAfee Antivirus is second to none. To back up what I said, there are many independent labs in the market that undertake various tests on different security solutions available in the market. One such lab is AV-Test lab. AV-Test lab, in the test conducted in June 2020, evaluated the performance of McAfee Antivirus. The results are in favor of McAfee.
As can be seen in the image above, McAfee was able to detect and eliminate all the malware samples it was tested against (over 22,000).
Although the McAfee is not the only one with the 100% security benchmark, it isn’t second to best either.
McAfee Antivirus has been able to prove itself as the software to provide 100% malware protection. But malware are not the only threat to your device and security. There are various other online threats posed to your privacy and data every time you use the internet. A solid VPN provides protection from nearly all the cyber-threats posed to your system.
Although the McAfee Antivirus comes bundled with a VPN, the security that McAfee VPN provides isn’t up to the mark. Also, the number of servers available with McAfee VPN stand nowhere when compared with standalone VPN service Providers like Systweak VPN that offer over 4500 servers (more about it in the end).
Security offered by McAfee VPN lags in many terms. It has intrusive logging policies where they are not clear about the data logs that they maintain about the user activities on the internet. Also, McAfee VPN doesn’t offer any Kill Switch that comes in handy in cases the VPN Connection gets dropped mysteriously.
In short, though the McAfee VPN is fast and affordable, it doesn’t offer the security that it is expected to provide. Unclear Policies regarding Data logs, unavailability of Kill switch, and low standards of security definitely put McAfee VPN behind its competitors in the race of being the best antivirus.
Web-Protection is aimed towards protection from malicious websites and platforms that work by making the user believe about their legitimacy to extract data such as credit card details. There are hundreds of malicious websites present on the Internet. Hence, nearly all the admirable antiviruses provide web-protection including McAfee Total Protection.
|Web-protection from such threats isn’t a difficult task and most antiviruses do it efficiently. McAfee Antivirus isn’t different either. It also provides required protection from such online scams.
Effects on System Performance:
Antivirus software can have a major impact on the user’s performance. Especially antivirus suites like McAfee Total Protection that do a whole lot of other stuff too and not just malware protection. Hence, calculating the system impact has to have a place in McAfee antivirus review.
In my 7-8 days usage, I saw a calculable drop in my system’s performance. Tasks like installing applications took a considerable amount of extra time and application launch time also took a hit. However, this lag isn’t McAfee specific. Kaspersky Antivirus also made a dent in my system’s performance while I was comparing it with McAfee. Bitdefender Antivirus had the most impact on my system’s performance.
Also, according to the AV-Test Lab following is the calculated drop in performance after installing McAfee Antivirus compared with the Industry average.
To compare the performance drop with its competitors, here is performance analysis of Bitdefender Total security:
Considering and comparing the results of Bitdefender and McAfee Antivirus, we can surely say that though the performance takes a hit when we download the McAfee antivirus, it isn’t the worst. In the quest of being the best antivirus, McAfee is definitely ahead of its competitors.
McAfee Total Protection used to offer an average UI which barely did the jog. But now the McAfee has refined its layout and it now has the look to be on the list of Best Antivirus Software. As soon as I installed the application to check out its features and how they function, God I was impressed with the changes they have made.
The UI is intuitive, sleek, and classy. There is nothing to complain about here.
McAfee Antivirus offers a sleek and intuitive user interface and second to none malware protection. It comes bundled with a lot of useful tools such as password manager. So, if you are looking for an antivirus software to protect your family from malware and other offline threats at an affordable price, McAfee Total Protection is the best antivirus software in the market for you.
However, if you are looking for protection from cyber-threats and online identity thefts, McAfee Antivirus isn’t the software for you. It lacks the security required to protect your Online Identity and also can’t provide access to Global Content. However, to deal with this shortcoming users can go for McAfee Antivirus and opt for a third-party VPN like Systweak VPN.
Download Now Systweak VPN
Systweak VPN is one of the most popular VPN service providers in the market. Systweak VPN offers industry best encryption and security from various cyber-threats. Let’s look at some of its features in brief:
AES-256 Encryption: Systweak VPN uses AES-256 Encryption Standard to encrypt the data that you send online. Decrypting the data encrypted by AES-256 Encryption Standard is virtually impossible.
Global Content: McAfee Antivirus lacks the capability to provide unrestricted access to global content and platforms like Netflix and YouTube. Systweak VPN, on the other hand, has servers in over 50 countries. Users can access the restricted content worldwide by connecting to a server where the service isn’t restricted.
Large Number Constantly Monitored Servers: Systweak VPN offers over 4500 servers in over 50 countries and counting. All the Systweak VPN servers are constantly monitored by professionals to detect any discrepancy, if occurs.
Kill Switch: Unlike McAfee Antivirus, Systweak VPN offers a kill switch to protect your online identity and data when the VPN connection drops mysteriously.
With all the above given features and more, Systweak VPN is one of the best VPNs available in the market.
This was our McAfee Antivirus review. We hope we were able to help you decide whether McAfee Total Protection is for you or not. Do let us know what you think of McAfee Antivirus, we love hearing from you.